Posts Tagged ‘tax expenditures’

As Budget Talks Start, Beware the Bogus Revenue Hikes

As House and Senate budget negotiators sit down (eight months late), the inevitable issue of new revenues has already raised its head. Predictably, Democrats insist that any fiscal deal include new taxes. Equally predictably, Republicans demand that it must not. But behind the scenes, Washington’s wink-and-nod crowd thinks it has a solution: Raise new tax […]

Congress Shouldn’t Forget About Tax Entitlements In Its Search for Deficit Reduction

Yesterday, Washington Post columnist Bob Samuelson urged lawmakers to “just eliminate…the whole notion of entitlements.”  His provocative argument: The very word “entitlement” makes people believe these programs are somehow untouchable. They are, for instance, effectively exempt from the sequester’s cuts even though they represent two-thirds of all government spending. Bob is on to something but he […]

How Do High-Income People Avoid Paying Federal Income Tax?

Most of the 43 percent of Americans who the Tax Policy Center projects will pay no federal income tax this year make very little money. Some are middle-income households that qualify for enough tax preferences to zero out their tax bills. But more than 70,000 households with income over $200,000 will pay no federal income […]

And Now for the Movie: Fewer Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax

The percentage of Americans who pay no federal income tax is falling, thanks to an improving economy and the expiration of temporary Great Recession-era tax cuts. In 2009, the Tax Policy Center estimated that 47 percent of households paid no federal income tax. This year, just 43 percent will avoid the tax. TPC’s 2009 estimate […]

Why Legal Marijuana is a Good Argument for Tax Reform

“Marijuana Industry Eager to Pay Taxes – and Cash in on Deductions” That was the headline for a story written by Rob Hotakainen of McClatchy Newspapers the other day. In less than a dozen words, it describes much of what’s wrong with the federal tax system.  And in an odd way it helps explain why […]

Paying for Corporate Tax Rate Cuts is Hard

Covering the revenue loss from deep individual income tax rate cuts while maintaining the income tax’s current progressivity is difficult, as Howard Gleckman explained here last week. It turns out that paying for corporate tax rate cuts is even harder. And new Tax Policy Center estimates show that lowering corporate tax rates without paying for […]

Beware of Tax Reform That Promises Deep Rate Cuts

Two new studies show just how hard a time Congress will have trying to slash tax rates without adding trillions of dollars to the budget deficit and producing a massive tax windfall for the highest-income American households. Last week, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that a tax plan that cuts individual rates to […]

A Summer Update on Tax Reform

Over the past week, Washington has been filled with news about tax reform—some reflecting necessary but painful truths and some just bad. In no particular order, here is where reform stands as Congress leaves town for its extended summer vacation: Big rates cuts are very expensive. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that Congress would […]

We Make More Than We Think

How much money do you make? Many Americans know what their wages and salary are. But they might be surprised to know that, on average, wages account for less than half the income of a U.S. household. Others might pull Adjusted Gross Income off their income tax return. That adds sources such as business income; […]

Not All Curbs on Tax Preferences Are Created Equal

Because politicians seem unwilling to confront specific individual tax preferences, it is likely that any broad-based tax reform will be based on across-the-board curbs on deductions, credits, and exclusions. That’s how lawmakers could generate the revenue they need to reduce tax rates and (perhaps) help reduce the deficit without seeming to tackle popular tax subsidies […]